• Saturday, Jul 02, 2022
  • Last Update : 04:24 pm

ED: Why this discrimination?

  • Published at 04:52 am May 8th, 2021

To ban intercity travel on buses alone, which disproportionately affects the poor, is discriminatory

While the government’s decision to impose suspensions on intercity travel as part of the nationwide lockdown is one which can be wholeheartedly supported, it seems that the lockdown itself is not one which is being wholeheartedly implemented.

The ban seems to mainly apply to buses traveling between cities, but not on private cars or airlines. Public transport within cities, though, can continue as per usual.  

This lockdown is definitely not something that is ideal, having affected millions of people and their livelihoods, but it is a necessary and commendable step towards ensuring that the pandemic does not devastate us in the long run.

But the suspension criteria mentioned above neither seem here nor there: Is it a suspension on public transport between cities? Is it a suspension on only buses? Or is it both?

And what is the reasoning behind the decision? Will the coronavirus differentiate between an individual who boards a plane as opposed to a bus, a train as opposed to a private car? Will it refuse to spread at the destination in which it is headed?

To ban intercity travel on buses alone, which disproportionately affects the poor, is discriminatory, not to mention classist. If the priority is to contain the pandemic, lockdown cannot disproportionately hurt those who cannot afford their own vehicles, or to fly. In most cases, the poor are the ones with the most urgent need to travel out of the city.

Ultimately, there can be no justification for banning intercity public transport while private transport and planes are allowed. The rules should not apply to those who don't have the means to travel by plane or private car only. 

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